The best way to improve your outcomes in negotiations is to take a negotiation skills training course. While you can learn how to negotiate better, it takes the knowledge of effective negotiation strategies, practice, and time. These are all aspects of negotiation skills training programs that will benefit you in any negotiation you find yourself in. However, there are some tips that can give you a quick boost to your negotiation skills right away.
1. Be prepared
Preparation is the single most important key to achieving a win-win resolution in a negotiation. Among the things you need to know are:
- What you hope to get out of the negotiation, what things you can compromise on, and what things you can’t
- What your arguments are, what responses you’re likely to encounter, and what the best and worst-case scenarios are
Moreover, you’ll want to make sure that what you’re asking for in the negotiations is reasonable. Otherwise, the negotiation process isn’t going to be successful for you. If your demands aren’t reasonable, rethink your position and possibly lower your expectations a little.
2. Build your case
Once you’ve determined that what you’re asking for is reasonable, you’ll want to build your case. Establish why the other party should consider your argument.
Also decide on what your non-negotiables are, whether it’s a corporate event planner you’re hiring or any other professional. This process will help you stay focused on your goals for the negotiation and having an argument prepared with evidence and support will give you credibility.
3. Have a backup plan
Never leave a negotiation empty-handed, unless the other party just won’t budge on your non-negotiables. In that case, though, you leave them with nothing as well.
Without compromising your non-negotiables, have a plan B that is an acceptable middle ground. Be prepared to offer your plan B as an acceptable alternative to your initial request so that the other party knows you’re willing to compromise. Without a backup plan, you’re allowing the other party to dictate the alternatives, which may not be acceptable to you.
4. Give yourself credit
While your negotiation goals should be reasonable, you also don’t want to sell yourself short. If you truly deserve what you’re asking for, then go for it.
Some experts will say to ask for more than you want so that you can compromise with your actual goal. That can be a good approach as long as you’re really okay with what you ultimately win in the negotiation. If you believe you deserve more, ask for it.
During a negotiation, it can be easy to focus on your next point instead of really listening to the other party’s counter-argument. Try your best not to do this and to focus on what the other person is saying.
They may have the perfect win-win solution that you haven’t found. The goal is to come to a mutually beneficial and satisfying resolution and despite your best intentions, it may come from the other side.
These five tips can help you succeed in your next negotiation. But if you really want to become a skilled negotiator, it will take specialized training to get you there.